I have been in class teaching my college’s intensive hypnotherapy practitioner diploma course for the past 9 days. Those that are familiar with my college, my courses and my teaching style, know that I put a lot of energy into my teaching. We refer to this format of the diploma course as ‘intensive’ because it is just that. 9 days of intensive learning about hypnotherapy, and that is only half of the total classroom hours and well under half with regards to additional coursework and study and so on.
For me, the main thing that enables me to keep my energy levels high when we cram in so much information and skill development into such an intensive training, is to maintain a playful demeanour and from time to time, permit myself to be child-like. I wrote about this in depth last Summer and believe in it greatly, go have a read:
Throughout the last 9 days, though we studied hard, and we were very serious when it was appropriate to be so, we also had a LOT of laughs, good belly laughs. I insist upon it. It is such a tonic, and creates a far more stimulating learning environment in my opinion and experience. Especially when the classroom hours are long and intense. A truly sober classroom atmosphere would be an endurance test for 9 days, for students and teacher!
Everyone’s life includes stress. Modern living has inherent stress inducers. There’s no getting around it. It can be either positive (eustress) or negative (distress) but the key to survival is how you handle stress and more importantly, how you decompress. Sometimes you just need to laugh! It’s free, it’s easy and so good for you.
Learn more about managing stress:
8 Ways to Reduce Your Stress
Audio hypnosis session:
Washing Away Stress and Worry
We have all heard of the expression “laughter is the best medicine” but do people actually recognise how much good it will do them? Could a “ha-ha-ha” a day really keep the doctor away? According to the medical community, laughing truly creates a positive impact on your personal well-being.
I want to show you how… Laughter threads the needle between stress, pain, and your brain as it brings one’s mind and body back into balance. Humour can lessen life’s burdens, keep you grounded, and help you remain focused and alert. In reality, how much laughter do people truly experience on a daily basis? Today, I am officially prescribing it because the health benefits are monumental!
1. Laughter relaxes your entire body
Laughter is good for your parasympathetic nervous system. This is the part of your body that tells you to relax, to “rest and digest”. A big player in this system is our vagus nerve. The vagus nerve passes through our diaphragm. Laughter causes increased abdominal pressure and diaphragmatic movement. These movements massage our vagus nerve, sending a signal through the nerve that tells our body to relax. If you have heard about belly breathing and how this helps with anxiety, laughter works similarly.
2. Laughter boosts the immune system
Laughter amps up the ability of our immune system to fight of infection. More specifically, it increases lymphocyte activity and phagocytosis. In other words – it calls on your immune soldiers, and gets them to eat up the bad guys. So next time you have a cold, maybe add a bit of laughter in with your cough syrup!
3. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins
Laughing reduces the level of stress hormones and triggers the release of health-enhancing hormones like endorphins, which are the body’s natural painkillers. Have something in your workplace that makes you happy, that fulfils you, and that makes you smile. Consider finding sources of stimuli that make you laugh that you can access anytime and at regular intervals through the day.
4. Laughter serves and protects your heart
Our body undergoes various physiological changes when we allow ourselves to laugh. We stretch the muscles throughout our face and body, our pulse and blood pressure go up, and we start to breathe faster, sending more oxygen to our tissues. Cardiologists from the University of Maryland found that laughter causes a release of nitric oxide that helps dilate our blood vessels and increases blood flow. This not only sends more blood to our heart, but decreases overall blood pressure.
5. Laughter can help you reduce weight
A new study has even looked into how laughter therapy may be used in the future as a “food substitute” for people with stress induced emotional eating. They postulate that therapeutic humour has a role in our endorphin and opioid systems – both involved in eating behaviour. A 2015 study conducted by Maciej Buchowski, a researcher from Vanderbilt University, showed that 10-15 minutes of laughter burned 50 calories. So, ‘laughing your arse off’ seems like a possibility (I made myself laugh with that line).
6. Laughter can be therapeutic
Some hospital patients with a range of illnesses try humour therapy as part of their treatment, and are able to better cope with the illness and their treatment as a result of the jolt of laughter that is added to their lives. Children who laugh during painful medical procedures may be able to tolerate pain better. And they don’t even have to laugh out loud to feel the soothing benefits. Finding something funny on the inside tends to be just a therapeutic.
7. Laughter can reduce blood sugar level
One study of 19 people with diabetes looked at the effects of laughter on blood sugar levels. After eating, the group attended a tedious lecture. On the next day, the group ate the same meal and then watched a comedy. After the comedy, the group had lower blood sugar levels than they did after the lecture. There are inherent health benefits to my own classes it would seem!
8. Laughter can block distressing emotions
It’s nearly impossible to feel angry, anxious, or sad if you are laughing.
Not only does laughter make you feel good, but it also helps you keep a positive, optimistic outlook through difficult situations, disappointments and losses. By simply hearing a hearty laugh, our own brain begins to prepare to smile and join in the laughing.
9. Laughter helps us relax and recharge
Did you know that laughing can actually help increase your energy level? Contrary to popular belief laughter can actually help with productivity. Yet another reason to create a light-hearted, fun environment at work.
10. Laughter helps place you in someone else’s shoes
Laughter allows you to view situations in a more realistic and less threatening light. When you allow yourself to laugh, you look at situations with a different perspective. This allows you to become more empathetic and aware of the situation at hand.
11. Laughter helps you be more resilient
Choosing to laugh and be resilient/positive teaches us to want to live and be at peace with others. This includes our inner-selves and with our current environment at work or normal life. It helps us build our resilience to stress and find meaning in life. Laughing inherently creates a more positive outlook that we can apply to any and every other aspect of our life.
12. Laughter improves memory
Laughter is found to decrease our stress hormone – cortisol. Cortisol can cause damage to our hippocampus neurons, a big part of our brain involved in memory. A recent study asked adults to watch funny videos and then tested their memory. Exposure to humour was found to decrease cortisol significantly. These people also were able to learn and recall information almost 2X more quickly. So it seems, laughter is also optimal for learning. I was right all along!
13. Laughter generates innovation
Because laughter relaxes us, and refocuses us, it can help widen our thought pattern and innovative thinking. So, laughter is very beneficial for our Emotional Intelligence.
It helps us become more creative and oh so much more besides…. I could go on writing and writing about this, but having been in class for 9 days, I have a lot of catching up to do right now.
Look, the next time you’re stressed out, angry or sad, pop on your favourite comedy, call a friend, look at some old photos, find funny sketches on YouTube and laugh your head off while letting your stress fade away. I find ‘shredding’ particularly hilarious and this is my favourite one of all time that cracks me up whenever I watch it, I hope you do too…. Now go laugh!
If you’d like to learn more or if this has resonated with you in some way, then visit these pages:
1. Do you need more laughter and joy in your life? Do you need help with lifting your general mood in life?
Coaching with Adam Eason Or Hypnotherapy with Adam Eason
2. Would you like a satisfying and meaningful career as a hypnotherapist helping others become happier and more joyful?
Adam Eason’s Anglo European training college.
3. Are you a hypnotherapist for whom lack of humour and personality is negatively effecting the success of your business?
Hypnotherapist Mentoring with Adam Eason.
Likewise, if you’d like to learn more about self-hypnosis, understand the evidence based principles of it from a scientific perspective and learn how to apply it to many areas of your life while having fun and in a safe environment and have the opportunity to test everything you learn, then come and join me for my one day seminar which does all that and more, have a read here: The Science of Self-Hypnosis Seminar.